Smash hit? Tennis star Rafael Nadal tries out new ‘electronic’ tennis racket

smash hit tennis star rafael nadal tries out new electronic racket babolat play and connectIf you take your tennis really seriously, you might be interested in a new so-called ‘electronic’ racket that was tested for the first time this week.

The Play and Connect racket, created by French sports equipment manufacturer Babolat, features integrated sensors capable of recording a swathe of data – such as the kind of shot played, ball spin type, shot power and the location of the ball on the string bed when it’s struck – sending it instantly and wirelessly to a courtside computer.

Software that comes with the high-tech racket allows players to set goals and compare data over days, weeks and months. Players can also post their data to an online community of players to compare stats.

smash hit tennis star rafael nadal tries out new electronic racket babolat play and connect ecran shots

“Babolat Play and Connect is taking on the challenge of changing the way tennis lovers play and live the game of tennis,” company boss Eric Babolat said in a statement. “This is a connected and communicating racket that will give players information they can use to improve performance or just have fun sharing with other passionate tennis players.”

The unique racket, which was announced earlier this year, was put through its paces publicly for the first time at a special event at the French Open in Paris this week.

Tennis legend Rafael Nadal was among those who got to test out the new racket, which is expected to go on sale some time next year with a  $310 (£200) price tag.

Eric Babolat, who was present at the launch event, told Reuters he believed the racket was a big leap forward for the game of tennis, “like going from silent cinema to movies with sound.”

Babolat is hoping his creation, which looks and feels the same as a regular racket, will catch the attention of amateur players looking for ways to improve their technique.smash hit tennis star rafael nadal tries out new electronic racket play and connect

Gaming

From PUBG to Apex Legends, this is how battle royale happened

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in Twitch streaming and eSports.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for March 2019

Looking to score Nintendo's latest console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on bundles that feature must-have games like Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Zelda: Breath of…
Emerging Tech

Cosmic dust bunnies: Scientists find unexpected ring around Mercury

A pair of scientists searching for a dust-free region near the Sun have made an unexpected discovery: a vast cosmic dust ring millions of miles wide around the tiny planet Mercury.
Emerging Tech

Take a dip in the Lagoon Nebula in first image from SPECULOOS instrument

The European Southern Observatory has released the first image collected by their new SPECULOOS instrument, and it's a stunning portrait of the Lagoon Nebula, a swirling cloud of dust and gas where new stars are born.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-generated text is supercharging fake news. This is how we fight back

A new A.I. tool is reportedly able to spot passages of text written by algorithm. Here's why similar systems might prove essential in a world of fake news created by smart machines.
Emerging Tech

Robot assistants from Toyota and Panasonic gear up for the Tokyo Olympics

Japan plans to use the 2020 Olympics to showcase a range of its advanced technologies. Toyota and Panasonic are already getting in on the act, recently unveiling several robotic designs that they intend to deploy at the event.
Emerging Tech

Racing to catch a flight? Robot valet at French airport will park your car

Hate searching for parking at the airport when you need to catch a plane? Startup Stanley Robotics recently unveiled a new outdoor automated robotic valet system. Here's how it works.
Business

Bags with brains: Smart luggage and gadgets are making travel smoother

The bag you use to tote your stuff can affect the experience of any trip. In response, suitcases are wising up, and there are now options for smart luggage with scales, tracking, and more. Here are our favorite pieces.
Computing

At $99, Nvidia’s Jetson Nano minicomputer seeks to bring robotics to the masses

Nvidia announced a new A.I. computer, the Jetson Nano. This computer comes with an 128-core GPU that Nvidia claims can handle pretty much any A.I. framework you could imagine. At $99, it's an affordable way for A.I. newbies to get involved.
Computing

Nvidia’s A.I. Playground lets you edit photos, experience deep learning research

Nvidia is making it easier to access information on deep learning research. It has launched an online space with three demos for image editing, styling, as well as photorealistic image synthesis. 
Business

British Airways’ new Club Suite for business class comes with a door

British Airways is going after a bigger slice of the business class market with the imminent launch of the Club Suite. The plush seating option offers a more private space as well as an easier route to the bathroom.
Smart Home

Sony’s Aibo robot dog can now patrol your home for persons of interest

Sony released the all-new Aibo in the U.S. around nine months ago, and since then the robot dog has (hopefully) been melting owners' hearts with its cute looks and clever tricks. Now it has a new one up its sleeve.